SuzieQ
I read the eBook for betrayed partners. The first guard question is: Are you single-minded in your desire to fix our marriage? One of the acceptable answers listed is: "Honestly, the feelings I had for the affair partner aren't completely gone, but I am no longer confused about what I want. I have closed all doors to the affair relationship and only want to work on our marriage."

This is pretty much what my WS is telling me. He has been putting in GREAT effort these last three weeks. Too many good things to list, but some are: allowing me access to cell phone and emails, going to individual counseling, going to couple counseling, letting me get angry/upset when I need to and still being reaffirming,moved out to give me requested space, helping at house even though he doesn't live there, visiting with children often to keep them feeling secure and loved, read your eBook for Unfaithful Spouses and highlighted areas he wanted to review with me, texting to check in often, allowing me to set up "the rules" and not questioning them or breaking them, texting me photos when I question where he is (I didn't request this, it was just something he did and I thought it was sweet that he was trying so hard to reassure me). AND THE BIG ONE, he has not seen, talked to, texted, or communicated in any way with the AP (in the last three weeks).

He tells me (and shows me) that he wants our marriage to work. He says he's sorry, the affair is his fault and had nothing to do with me, he never stopped loving me but made huge mistakes, and he's trying to figure out what parts of him let him do that to me. He says he feels more connected to me now than ever before.

So what is the problem? Well since confessing to the affair on DD 6/24, he has told me he is committed to telling the truth - but really it has been trickle truth. He mostly admitted to parts I already knew and let me keep discovering more truth on my own, and then admitting to those parts too after I confront him. This has really affected my trust in his word and commitment. So even though he says he is single-minded in wanting to work on our marriage, I am still not sure. He DOES seem to be committed to telling the truth now and answers any question I ask of him, even if it is uncomfortable and he knows the answer will hurt. One of the things he has admitted to is that he feels like he does still have some feelings for his AP. He says he wishes he didn't, he's trying to figure out if those feelings are real or crazy, he wants to let them go and is trying to and that his individual therapist says this will take time. He says as time goes on he feels those feelings getting weaker and weaker. I am happy he is trying to be honest. But CAN HE BE SINGLE-MINDED AND STILL HAVE SOME FEELINGS FOR AP? What am I supposed to do with this information? It hurts so much.

My other problem (stated in another thread) is that he hasn't "technically" ended the relationship with AP. They had a very strained last phone call three weeks ago (3 hours long) where she pretty much said "What the hell is wrong with you? What do you want? Figure it out" and he said, "I don't know. I'm confused" and they eventually ended the phone call. I have told him it would make me feel better if he A) texts or emails her to say he has made up his mind and he chooses our marriage and not to contact him, B) changes his number, and C) blocks her number. I won't MAKE him do these things or do them for him. And he hasn't done them and says he doesn't see why it's so important. He wants credit for the fact that he hasn't had any contact and feels that is good enough. He's afraid if he initiates any contact with her it will stir feelings up again, and can't we just let them fade away? Is there a "right" answer here?
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Kalmarjan
Wow... Lots to go on there.

So, I'm a WS. I woke up and realized I had a lot of work to do, and set about getting it done.

Yes, it's entirely possible to still have feelings for the AP, even if he is single minded in working on your marriage. He will have the feelings for a while but they will fade.

What's more important is what he does with you two. There will be some self reflection, and he will do his best to make sure you feel. Comfortable enough for you two to open up and begin the long, hard process of rebuilding trust.

It's only been three weeks. It is troublesome that he still has contact with his AP, and I did the same too.

It's a slippery line. Kinda like playing with matches while you are standing in gasoline. Perhaps it will be okay, right?

Why do that though?

Your husband thinks he can handle all of this, and he sounds like I was, where he genuinely didn't want to hurt the AP's feelings.

He needs to wake up and realize that he needs to make a choice... And the other party will end up hurt. To him, it makes him feel like a monster, especially if he sold her (and himself) a story to make the affair "OK."

It's a long, long road to recovery. It sounds like things are off on a good start, but there are signs already that some boundaries need to be set.

It's not enough, having email and FB access, or knowing everything about what he does, have him report to you about what he is doing or his whereabouts - if in the end he is in contact with his AP. You will NEVER feel safe with that.

If he's in it to win it, that is what he should care about, not his AP or her feelings.

There are good resources in the download section. It will be rocky, long, and hard recovery, but if your marriage will survive this, it will be stronger for it.
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SuzieQ
Thanks for the insight.

The affair was about 4 months long. DD was 6/24. we decided to stay together and give it a go, so he "broke it off" with her via phone on 7/3 after I explained NC. He spoke to her twice the week of 7/20 (and lied about it, but I found out anyway via phone records). He felt like he was owed those hone calls because they were part of "Letting her go" - at least that's what he said at the time. Then 7/30 we had a huge argument (when I uncovered more truth he had neglected to share, that their affair had not ONLY been emotional but was indeed physical too) and I told him to leave. That scared him so much that he ran right to AP, even though things weren't great with them. And (of course) she agreed to meet with him. Then they had that confusing phone call 8/2, the end result being him feeling like maybe it wasn't a choice of her or me, but that he had to fix his brokeness before he could be with anyone. He pretty quickly (within a few days) declared he chose me, and we have stayed separated to give him time to work on himself and me time to decide if I feel safe with him or not. So he has said that he chooses me a ll along, but has really doubled down his effort since August began. It's just super frustrating to me that A) he feel like he has "genuine feelings" that developed in less than 4 months and B) won't officially end it with her and C) feels that out of control that he feels like any communication with her would make him want her back. It makes me feel crazy for putting up with this. I deserve so much better.
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Kalmarjan
SuzieQ wrote:
Thanks for the insight.

The affair was about 4 months long. DD was 6/24. we decided to stay together and give it a go, so he "broke it off" with her via phone on 7/3 after I explained NC. He spoke to her twice the week of 7/20 (and lied about it, but I found out anyway via phone records). He felt like he was owed those hone calls because they were part of "Letting her go" - at least that's what he said at the time. Then 7/30 we had a huge argument (when I uncovered more truth he had neglected to share, that their affair had not ONLY been emotional but was indeed physical too) and I told him to leave. That scared him so much that he ran right to AP, even though things weren't great with them. And (of course) she agreed to meet with him. Then they had that confusing phone call 8/2, the end result being him feeling like maybe it wasn't a choice of her or me, but that he had to fix his brokeness before he could be with anyone. He pretty quickly (within a few days) declared he chose me, and we have stayed separated to give him time to work on himself and me time to decide if I feel safe with him or not. So he has said that he chooses me a ll along, but has really doubled down his effort since August began. It's just super frustrating to me that A) he feel like he has "genuine feelings" that developed in less than 4 months and B) won't officially end it with her and C) feels that out of control that he feels like any communication with her would make him want her back. It makes me feel crazy for putting up with this. I deserve so much better.


I hear you here.

It's tough on your part because he is expecting you to understand what he is going through... And you are (rightfully) pissed.

I can try to explain a few things, but using me to see if it helps you to understand. I'm not saying it's your husbands case, but if there is one thing I've learned from this journey is that it's almost always the same script... It's like we plagiarize it. :/

The genuine feelings

Yes, I understand this well. To put it bluntly, I inserted me head in my ass too. I "fell in love" with my AP after less than 2 weeks, and had my first intercourse with her at less than 6 weeks.

Why? Looking back, it's so simple, it's stupid. LOVE BOMB.

Let me explain.

You mentioned it was an emotional affair first. That makes sense. So, the AP "gathers" information about what your husbands insecurity, wishes, dreams, etc, and all of his gripes and such about your marriage.

With that information, she can be the opposite for him. (If only temporary.)

In my case, it was doing all that wild stuff that I craved. The oral sex, danger making out in a car taking trips, eating out, movies, date night, smoking weed, drinking, , etc. All the stuff that got put to the side because mariage got "boring."

She echoed how I felt, and made me feel like this fat, bald, old guy was someone special. Plus, she was sending me nude selfies... And almost at demand. My wife would NEVER do that. (Or so I thought... Today I know she'll send me one here and there, I just had to ask her.)

So, this is how he feels like he has feelings for her. It's adrenaline, dopamine, and the thrill that the two of you had when you first started dating. (Do you remember what it was like to start dating...?)

Won't "officially" end it with her

Yes, this is troublesome. I went through the same thing. What was happening was this.

I "fell in love" with this girl, and it was like she was a "soul mate." I mean, wow! She really got me. (Of course she did. She made sure to get the information she needed.)

My affair started off as an emotional affair too. So, I had to transition to the physical side but the thing is, I'm not like that. It's completely against all I stood for.

Except, if I could paint my wife in a bad light. So, I Lied to myself that my wife and I should have never got married because of x, y, z, a, b, c, and over and over again.

Thing is, my AP was part of this justification too. Like a cheerleader. So, I was also lying to her.

That was why it was so hard to let my AP go, because I genuinely (stupidly) thought that my actions were bringing her a lot of hurt. I thought she couldn't move on without me. (Read some of TimT stuff, where he went through this too.)

What happened with me was I realized that no matter what, my AP would be hurt. I was choosing my wife, and that meant that there was NO CONTACT. period.

My AP has tried to reach out since. I've blocked all avenues for communication, and told her in no uncertain terms... Contact me and there will be legal consequences. Govern yourself accordingly.

Feels out of control... Any situation... Want her back

I felt like this too. Of course, it was because while I was still in contact with my AP, she was good at laying the seeds of doubt. It's a good thing I woke up from my fog because I could see (FINALLY) what she was trying to do.

It's called hoovering. It's like a vacuum... You get sucked back in. I broke up with my AP, and a week later (and a car Sexual encounter latrr) I was back. And not for the good.

In order for him to work through these feelings he will need to do what I had to do. Disconnect the emotional hose, go no contact, and figure out what he wants. He needs to do what I did.

Figure out what his needs are, what he is, where he stands and forgive himself. He needs to get to a place where he knows himself well enough to know he will NEVER do that to you (or anyone else) again. This is because he will have a sense of what the boundaries for him are. What is acceptable, and what is not.

Like I said.... This is going to be tough. Really, really tough. But don't give up, until you see and have explored everything. Leave no stone unturned. If the two of you work through this it will be worth it.

Oh, and one more thing.

You don't owe him sh*t for the "work" he has done. That work is for him alone, not for you. Bottom line is a healthy person doesn't celebrate the fact that they didn't cough that day. A sick person takes steps to get better and no one owes them anything for that.

Your WS messed up bad. Now there is a lot of cleanup to do. Scoring points right now isn't the way to fixing this.
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Kalmarjan
Just finished reading your first post here..

It looks like your husband needs a lot of work on boundaries. If there are multiple affairs and the suicidal thoughts - I can totally relate.

On one hand, you "think" you are in love with your AP and they are your soul mate...

BUT

Your best friend in the entire world is your soul mate and you do love her...but you are starting to think that you are not in "love" with her anymore...

Worse, when the proverbial. Crap hits the fan...

You can't believe how you were duped. How you made such a stupid move. Why were you so blind, and dumb to hurt the one person you know deep down you care (almost more than you care for yourself...)?

In my case, I turned to look at myself. I found that I have a "nice guy syndrome." It's fairly common for "nice guys" to have affairs because they just can't make their needs known. They constantly do nice things but expect an unrealistic return for it (and one that's not even shared... It's covert...) and get very very resentful when things are not going the way they thought.

In the end, for me it was the ultimate stupid passive aggressive thing to do... Have an affair. I didn't want to hurt my wife, but I did because I was keeping score in our relationship.

Your husband needs to get to some work on himself stat. Otherwise, how will he get to a point where he will truly say (like I say right now) that there is NO way I will ever cheat on anyone ever again? I know for certain because through self reflection and change, I know It's just not acceptable to me, period.
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TimT
I only have a few minutes to write, but wanted add some quick comments along with the good ones already provided by Kalmarjan.

Getting the Whole Truth
It is important for him to understand the hinderance to rebuilding trust that occurs when the truth isn't embraced quickly and certainly. It may help to clearly state your need for this along with the invitation to come clean once and for all. If you believe you are willing to work toward forgiving him, whatever the truth is, tell him so. Let him know that his ongoing lack of openness/honesty is doing more long-term damage than the actions of the past. Then agree on a time to talk about it in a few days or a week from now. Ask him to think carefully about the affair (even create a timeline, if that would help him remember) and then come prepared to tell the whole truth. Let him know that even if he held on to lies up until now (maybe even to protect your feelings), this is an invitation to let the truth out.

Can he be single-minded and still have feelings for the AP?
Yes. In fact, if emotions are involved in an affair, I expect lingering emotions for a while. They will diminish as he remains single-minded in his pursuit of you and your marriage. And that brings me to the the final issue in your original comment...

Ending connection with the AP
If he is still in contact with her, even if his reason for it is trying to tie up loose ends, etc., he is not acting in a single-minded way. He is still investing in that relationship. He may tell you (and himself) that he's just trying to respect her and help her deal with ending the affair, BUT THAT IS NOT HIS RESPONSIBILITY. He has to let her go once and for all. Ongoing contact only increases the risk that he remains entangled and keeps you from feeling safe with him. There should be no compromise with this.
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SuzieQ
So his point is that he doesn't actually have ongoing contact with her. He mostly hasn't talked to her since the beginning of July, and not at all since the end of July. He just wants to keep not communicating. He thinks this should be enough. And apparently (he says) his individual therapist agrees with him.
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Kalmarjan
SuzieQ wrote:
So his point is that he doesn't actually have ongoing contact with her. He mostly hasn't talked to her since the beginning of July, and not at all since the end of July. He just wants to keep not communicating. He thinks this should be enough. And apparently (he says) his individual therapist agrees with him.


Well that's great! Since he has no want to communicate with her, then blocking all access to contacting her and going subsequent no contact should mean little to him.

After all, is he in this to win it? Is he all-in, or is he holding her as a backup plan?

To be honest, IF he has done his homework, he'll know that any contact with his AP will lead to temptation and will make disconnecting that emotional hose all the harder.

Again, this is your show here. You get to decide how you are affected by this, not him, nor his therapist. It's all about a boundary here. If you decide that it's NOT okay for him to continue on as he is, and for him to maintain any form of contact (or possibility of it) will hurt you deeper, COMMUNICATE that with your spouse.

He can argue, cajole, whatever. Bottom line is that it's up to him to prove he's in it. You can meet him halfway here, but he needs to take the step and show you that he is serious.

Otherwise it's just bull. Take it from someone who has been there and done that. And read all the pages on the internet of this same, sad story. We ALL think we can handle it. That's how we got into this mess in the first place.

Seriously. It's like plagiarism. The story is THAT common.
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flight
Kalmarjan, I have been loving going through all your posts. You speak the truth and write well, so it is easy to hum along to your tune. Question: You were re-writing history, and as we know that story gets pretty well cemented to where you believe it, no? And some never come out of the fog, they don't face themselves, marry the affair partner or someone else later on and try not to look back all the while still blaming the ex they cheated on. How did you deprogram yourself from the false, rationalized version of history back to a more accurate version? How do you get from, "I was faking those smiles in all those happy picures" to "Ok, of course I was happy most of those times"?
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Kalmarjan
flight wrote:
How did you deprogram yourself from the false, rationalized version of history back to a more accurate version? How do you get from, "I was faking those smiles in all those happy picures" to "Ok, of course I was happy most of those times"?


Thank you for the kind words... They are better than I deserve.

I think a better question would be," when did you stop ignoring your inner voice telling you this was all bullsh*t? "

I don't think I believed what I was spinning. Not to myself nor anyone else. The problem was that I was so angry. It's easy to deflect, to deny the truth when you are telling your tale from the position of anger.

Honestly, I didn't really want to look at myself. It was really, really hard. I thought that going back meant that I would have to grovel, and that I would NEVER make things better. That was also bull. A way to avoid taking responsibility for my actions.

In the end, I didn't want to be that guy. I wanted my partner back. My best friend. The stupidest thing is that I actually thought that through all my affair, I would be able to maintain a friendship with my wife. Talk about being out of touch.

I had to admit that I was wrong, that I chose wrong, and that I was acting out of character, and without integrity. Then, a LOT of soul searching.

Looking back I can say honestly I consciously took a decision to ignore that little voice. It wasn't apparent at the time. But now, looking back, reading texts, emails, Facebook messages and other various forms of communication I had with her show me all the times that I didn't listen to myself. Or take action. I kept a journal too, so that helped.

I'm writing this today, sitting next to my wife. I'm on my phone writing like mad, and she is sitting next to me playing like level 536 of candy crush. Two years ago we would have been on separate couches, or perhaps in separate rooms. I just got back from. Riding a bike with the dog, and I'm teasing her (threatening to rub my sweaty bald head on her).

I asked her today if she felt like we were closer now. She says yes, and the way to it was by joining forces with her to reconnect. But before I got there I had to do the biggest thing. Tell the truth.

To myself.

I hope that explains things a bit better...
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flight
I get it now! The anger angle makes all the sense in the world and explains why she will seem to pick a fight out of the blue. I noticed that sometimes the day after opening up and being vulnerable, showing tears, I would get "punished". I think the anger provides a smokescreen for making it about me. In any case, I have figured out how to deflect, diffuse or walk away from the anger. It is getting almost non-existent so perhaps change is a comin' [wink]
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TimT
flight wrote:
...I have figured out how to deflect, diffuse or walk away from the anger. It is getting almost non-existent so perhaps change is a comin' [wink]

Just uploaded a Quick Guide about a way to picture what's causing anger and be vulnerable enough to talk about THAT instead of staying in the anger. If it helps, you can download it here.
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